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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 07-11-2008, 09:31 PM   #1
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A buddy of mine just gave me his 91 bon. It doesn't really run right. well it barely runs at all. In order to get it from his house to mine he jumped the battery, and had to keep the RPM'* up the whole way here. almost died at a 4 way stop. Here'* what happens as far as i know. It will start but it has a VERY rough idle. so rough that if you rev it up sometimes it will die when the R'* drop. It would run once you jumped it and if you kept the r'* up it would run at a high idle for a long time. then once it died you would need to jump it again. my thought was the alternator is bad. so i pulled it out. broke the pos connection on the back and had to replace it. So i put a reman. one from autozone in its place and charged the batt up and same problem. my buddy thinks its a ECM or a speed sensor. My thought on that is if the ECM is dead it shouldnt run at all. and speed sensor should have more to do with speed of driving. I tried to pull the codes by sticking a paperclip into slots A and B and i couldn't even get code 12 to show up. i'm looking for ideas. is there something grounded that is sucking all the power so everything is running like crap and not keeping the batt charged? someone help me please
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:13 PM   #2
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went out and looked at it again. Found something that is interesting. the idle speed is at about 500 rpm. when i throttle it up to about 800-1000rpm it seems like all the problems go away. now that'* just sitting there doing nothing. not sure what impact that would have at highway speeds.
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:54 PM   #3
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A host of things could be going on here and just getting the car doesnt help. Weird the engine runs yet you cant pull codes. Autozone will try to pull error codes for free Here'* a few good places to start. Check for vacuum leaks, whats the condition of the spark plugs, spark plug wires (rear ones like to fry with age, especially when a former owner pulls the heat shields), ECM'* dont always just go "dead" they can give trouble before that, O2 sensor, fuel line pressure, a coil pack. If you could get an error code or that one isnt being thrown, it would help narrow things down.
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:19 PM   #4
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The last owner had changed the o2 sensor and then it started having serious hesitation problems randomly while driving. and as soon as the sun comes back and the rain goes away for more than 15 min. i'll look at plug wires and plugs.
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Old 07-13-2008, 03:14 PM   #5
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Update:::: I was hearing a ticking that i thought was a plug wire grounding out. turns out it is a fuel injecter that it ticking. so to test a theory i pulled the electrical out of it and the car won't run. so then i pulled that cylender'* pulg to look at it. then i pulled the one next to it just to compare. well i forgot to put that plug wire back on and the car started and i didn't notice a difference. the battery is charging again so i'll go back out in 15-30 min. to try some more things. gonna replace that one spark plug. forsure. the 2 i pulled out both looked like it was running VERY rich. but not fouled.
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Old 07-13-2008, 04:08 PM   #6
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update part 2. i have pulled all 3 plug wires on the front bank. no difference in idleing at all. i can infact pull all 3 at once and the car will still idle. i don't know what the problem is anymore. do i start replacing plugs and injecters because i think they are going bad? plugs i don' mind doing cuz they are pretty cheap but is this even the right thing? someone please start throwing me ideas.
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Old 07-13-2008, 05:14 PM   #7
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Replace spark plugs and wires. Even new cheap wires are better than old worn out crappy wires. That should solve most of the rough idle issue.

It sounds like there is also a vacuum leak. All of the rubber on the vacuum lines needs to be checked. If it has never been replaced, or if you don't know when it was last replaced, you should plan to go ahead and replace it.

These things are reasonably cheap and easy to do. Checking the vacuum lines can be tedious, but it is necessary to rule that out as a driveability issue. Get that done and see what you've got.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:24 PM   #8
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lost punk. Did you ever take to a parts store and have them run any codes?
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:56 AM   #9
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The car is barely drivable. i don't want to try and drive it and get stuck half way. and need a jump just to get going again. and the car has no plates. i bought some new plugs last night and i'm going to try those tonight and see what happens. then i'm going to look at the vacuum lines and start looking from there. if i could get the car to run semi decent i'd take it in and have the codes pulled.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:03 PM   #10
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And the plug wires? New plugs will just get fouled again quickly if you're using bad wires.
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